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Sharapova: I'm not sure what grunting does

ESPN staff
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Maria Sharapova has missed the last few months with a shoulder problem © Getty Images
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Four-time grand slam champion Maria Sharapova admits she does not know whether grunting helps her during matches.

The Russian, appearing on the Ellen DeGeneres Show, told the American talk show host that she is not sure what would happen if she stopped grunting on court.

Sharapova, who made her return to action last week in Colombia in an exhibition against Ana Ivanovic after missing the last five months with a shoulder problem, is set to play at the Brisbane International at the end of December as the new season begins.

Grunting in the women's game has been one of the talking points over the past few years, with Sharapova and Victoria Azarenka facing criticism for their shrieks whilst playing.

And on the subject, Sharapova said "I'm not sure what it does" when asked whether the grunting helps with releasing energy on court. "I still to this day don't really know.

"I've never actually tried to stop. Because once you start playing, you just start going into this automatic rhythm," she added.

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